Slip and Fall Attorney Assisting Plaintiffs Injured at Movie Theaters in Los Angeles, California
Movie theaters can be places of great entertainment, but they can also have many hazards that can result in slip, trip, and fall accidents. When you consider the number of people eating food and drinking soda and other drinks in a movie theater, the chances of a spill are quite high. In addition, when movie theater aisle lights burn out, a patron can easily slip, trip, or fall when attempting to get out of his or her seat while the film is running.
Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall accident at a Los Angeles movie theater should talk with a Los Angeles movie theater slip and fall lawyer to learn more about filing a claim.
How Do Movie Theater Slips and Falls Happen?
Slips and falls in movie theaters can happen for many different reasons. Under California premises liability law, anyone who owns or is control of property must use reasonable care in keeping the property in reasonably safe condition. This is also true for movie theaters. Property owners and managers also have a duty to discover unsafe conditions and to take steps to remedy the situation or to warn movie theater customs about the hazard. Examples of hazards for which a movie theater might be liable for negligence in a slip and fall accident include but are not limited to:
- Drink or liquid food item (such as ice cream) spilled on the floor;
- Theater aisle light broke or burned out;
- Floors recently were mopped;
- Carpet in theater is torn;
- Uneven flooring in the theater;
- Puddle near the entryway from rain or wet umbrellas;
- Items stacked in an aisle way intended for theater patrons;
- Slippery staircases; and
- Broken staircase railings.
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I Fell at a Movie Theater, Can I Sue?
Movie theaters and all entertainment venues have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their patrons. It is their responsibility to keep their premises safe. If you have been injured at a movie theater, you may be able to hold the owner of the movie theater for your injuries. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, other parties also may be responsible for the injuries you sustained in your slip and fall accident. To be eligible for compensation, California law requires a plaintiff to be able to prove the following elements of a premises liability lawsuit:
- Defendant owned, leased, occupied, and/or controlled the movie theater property;
- Defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the movie theater property;
- Plaintiff was harmed; and
- Defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Examples of some ways in which a movie theater may be negligent in a slip and fall case might include:
- Knowing about a liquid spill but avoiding a cleanup;
- Mopping the floors without warning patrons about the slippery floors;
- Knowing about torn or bunched carpet but failing to have it replaced;
- Having a light that has been burned out for several weeks when another movie theater owner would have noticed and replaced the bulb; or
- Having a liquid spill that no employees notice because they are not checking the premises after a set of films for any spilled food items or other slip and fall hazards.
What Happens If the Injured Person is Partially to Blame for a Movie Theater Slip and Fall Accident?
If the person who slips and falls also bears some responsibility for the accident or for her injuries, it is extremely important to know that California law still allows that injured person to recover damages. Under California’s comparative negligence law, a plaintiff who is partially to blame still can recover damages, but her portion of the damages gets reduced by her percentage of negligence. This remains true whether the plaintiff is 5 percent or 95 percent to blame.
For example, imagine that a person slips and falls at a Los Angeles movie theater because there was a liquid spill that had not been cleaned up for several hours, and it was in plain view of the staff. However, at the time of the slip and fall, the plaintiff was texting on her phone and was distracted. As a result, she did not see the liquid spill. The court might determine that the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the accident. If the court decides that the theater owes the plaintiff $100,000 but finds the plaintiff to be 10 percent responsible, then that plaintiff’s damages is award is reduced by 10 percent. In this scenario, the $100,000 award would be reduced by 10 percent, or $10,000, and the plaintiff would receive $90,000.
Statute of Limitations in a Los Angeles Movie Theater Slip and Fall Accident
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in California, including movie theater slip and fall cases, is two years from the date of the injury. Accordingly, if a person gets hurt in a movie theater in the Los Angeles area and wants to file a premises liability lawsuit, that person typically has two years from the date of the slip and fall accident to file her lawsuit. Failing to file a claim within that two-year period can mean that the claim becomes time-barred. When a claim is time-barred, the injured person no longer is eligible to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.
While two years might seem like a long time, it is important to remember that the two-year window is the maximum period of time you have to file a lawsuit. Leading up to that filing, you will likely work with a lawyer on an insurance claim first, which can take months. In addition, the longer you wait to speak with a lawyer and to get started on the claims process, the more likely it becomes that you will loose valuable evidence in your case.
Attorney Vibhu Talwar
Contact Our Los Movie Theater Slip and Fall Attorneys in Los Angeles
Given that movie theaters are darkly lit establishments where customers regularly consume a variety of drinks and food products, slip and fall accidents happen with some frequency. Whether you got hurt after tripping and falling in a theater where the lighting was broken or after slipping and falling in an area where another customer spilled a drink, it is important to discuss your options with a Los Angeles movie theater slip and fall attorney.
A premises liability lawyer at our firm can discuss the required elements in a California slip and fall case, and we can get started on your claim. Contact Fisher & Talwar to learn more about our services.